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Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes: Bonner Arnold

Bonner Arnold courtesy of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame
Bonner Arnold courtesy of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

From the Northeast Mississippi basketball hotbed of Wheeler, Bonner Arnold was a successful Mississippi basketball coach, spending most of his career as head coach at Northeast Mississippi Junior College in Booneville. Arnold, a Bogalousa, La., coached the Tigers from the time the college opened in 1948 through 1974.

Under Arnold, Northeast was the Mississippi Valley Tournament champion eight times. His teams won seven Mississippi Junior College tourney titles. They were Region 7 champions on two occasions. Because of his success and tenure, Arnold was honored by having the basketball facility on the Northeast campus named “The Bonner Arnold Coliseum.”

Arnold played junior college basketball himself, at Sunflower Junior College in the Mississippi Delta. He also played after that at Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Before that, he was a star high school player at Wheeler. His 1929 team won the state of Mississippi crown, advanced to the National High School Basketball Tournament in Chicago, and Arnold was named All-American. Arnold died in 1978 at the age of 70.


MS greatest athletes

Courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum director Rick Cleveland, author of Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes. Cleveland can be reached at rcleveland@msfame.com.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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